Steve Jobs announced the oft-rumored iPod mini today in the keynote address at Macworld Expo in San Francisco, a $250 MP3 player with a 4GB hard drive that comes in several colors. Jobs also introduced the Xserve G5 and updates to Xserve RAID, and announced updates to several media applications, and introduced Garage Band, a music-making program and part of iLife. Also previously rumored, and true, is that Pepsi will be giving away 100 million iTunes Music Store songs.The iPod mini, compared to other similar MP3 players Jobs described, is about half the thickness (half an inch), holds a lot more (most hold 256MB), and costs about $50 more. Jobs noted that most similar MP3 players require additional memory at additional cost, so if you go that route, you may as well just get the iPod mini.
The mini is anodized aluminum and comes in silver, gold, blue, green, and pink. Accessories include a dock and armband. It can be connected to the computer via FireWire 400 or USB 2.0.
Jobs also announced some changes to the existing iPod line, including a bump from 10GB to 15GB for the $300 version, and new in-ear headphones for $40.
The Xserve G5 is, like the previous Xserve, a 1U server. It can hold up to 8GB of ECC DDR 400 memory, and up to 750GB of storage. It includes an unlimited client license for Mac OS X Server 10.3, and comes in three configurations: 2GHz for $3,000, dual 2GHz for $4,000, and cluster node dual 2GHz for $3,000.
The Xserve RAID got a bump, too. The 3U RAID has a 500GB increase in capacity to 3.5TB for $11,000; 1.75TB for $7,500; and 1TB for $6,000. And, it is now certified for use with some versions of Windows and Linux.
Jobs, with the help of recording artist John Mayer, introduced the newest member of the iLife media application family: Garage Band. It is a music instrument and recording tool, that can mix up to 64 tracks, comes with 50 software instruments, over 1,000 professional loops, and 200 effects. It can record live instruments and take input from a USB or MIDI controller. It simulates various modern and vintage amps for guitar playback.
The optional $99 Jam Pack adds 100 more instruments, 2,000 more loops, 15 more amps, and more effects.
iPhoto, the most maligned of the iLife apps for its performance problems, received a much-needed update. It can now handle up to 25,000 photos (instead of mere hundreds), and adds automatic and smart albums (similar to iTunes), ratings of photos, and sharing via Rendezvous. Like iTunes, you apparently can't modify descriptions and titles through sharing, but unlike iTunes, there are no copyright restrictions.
iDVD and iMovie also got updates: better control, new and improved effects, and more. iMovie has exporting directly to your iDisk for use on your home page and importing directly from an iSight camera, and iDVD adds a navigation map and archiving projects for burning on another computer. iDVD also gets higher-quality Pro encoding, with 2 hours per DVD.
iLife, for $49, and the Jam Pack are available starting January 16. There was no indication that any new components of iLife will be available for free download, but iLife will be included with all new Macs.
Final Cut Express was bumped to version 2, and is basically updated to include the features from Final Cut Pro 4. Upgrades are $99.
Microsoft announced Office 2004, an upgrade to Office X. People who purchase Office X now until the spring, when 2004 is released, will be eligible for a free upgrade.
Pepsi's iTunes Music Store giveaway will begin on February 1. Yellow caps noting the 100 million song giveaway will have a 1 in 3 chance of winning.
Jobs also noted that iTunes Music Store has 70% of the market share for online music purchasing; that 50,000 audio books were sold for the quarter; that 500,000 songs are now online, making the store the largest online; and that one person has spent $29,500 on iTunes Music Store. Yes, $29,500.